Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Best Friend's Goin' to the Chapel

It's hard to believe her wedding is here. It seems like a million years ago that we were turning 18 years old, falling in and out of love, driving back and forth between Athens & Atlanta for unforgettable college nights but then it seems like all of that was only a few days ago.

And now she's marrying Richard, who wasn't her high school sweetheart but maybe he was even more. He was her best friend through high school and through college. Every time I came to visit, I'd ask when they were going to start dating, and every time I'd be met with an exasperated eye roll and sigh. And then at the end of their senior year something changed, and they haven't looked back. Over time, he just became part of Sydney. Her other half.

Sydney is the friend I always dreamed I would have when I was little. The friend who has known you since forever. Who knows your family, your secrets, and every single possible bad thing to know about you, and loves you anyway. Who knows exactly what you're going to say, how you're going to react, and who lets you just. be. you. I don't ever have to explain myself. She's been there for just about every milestone in my life - breakups, falling in love, bad decisions, amazing successes, family emergencies, middle of the night panic attacks, you name it. She's been there, supporting me, loving me, probably wanting to strangle me, but always, always, always there.

Our lives have been weaved and intertwined so intricately that I wonder where I'd be without her. Even as adults, somehow, by fate or intention I'm not sure, our lives continue to connect. We live 1000 miles apart, separated by rivers and timezones, and nothing has changed. Because that's Syd - faithful, constant, unwavering, steady, reliable, and everything you'd want in a best friend.

Syddo, I couldn't be happier for you. You are truly the best friend I dreamed about as a little girl - the best friend I'll have my whole life. You are a part of my family, part of who I am, and I'm so proud of you. Best of luck to you and Mr. O as you continue your life together. Because really, it's not just starting. It started so long ago that it seems like that's the way it's always been. I love you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Thoughts on Seeing a Therapist

Taboo topics, for the win.
Yep, I see a therapist. I have for about 8 months now. The last time I was there she kinda-sorta tried to break up with me and I straight up told her no. I get it, she's having a baby soon and needs to figure that out and I'm not exactly high priority on her list of patients when it comes to real medical need, but she's pretty dang high on my priority list when it comes to doing real life so she isn't going to get rid of me that easily.
I started seeing her last December when my uncle got really sick and my family got overwhelming and my anxiety went through the roof. And we got into a sweet routine. I go in ~every 10 days, we talk for 45 minutes, she gives me some excellent perspective and I carry on with my life (and presumably she with hers.) I've told her about that pesky friendship that keeps popping back up - she's totally not a fan but she gets it, and she claims I've come a long way. She was one of the first people who knew about graduate school. I felt safe telling her because she hardly knew me then. She asked constantly about the Lenten Adventure and for the first time in 8 months, I sat in her office and sobbed a few weeks ago.
You may wonder how I found her... I googled. And then I called around. I knew I wanted to see a female, and I knew I was looking for someone who specialized in anxiety, relationships, and general life stuff. I also didn't really care what type of degree she had, so long as she was certified to see me as a patient. I wasn't sure the difference between a licensed counselor, LPC, LMFT, etc, and I figured it probably didn't matter so long as I found someone I clicked with. I 'interviewed' one woman to see if we'd be a good fit, but turns out she didn't take my insurance so I had to move on. My current doctor isn't particularly convenient (her hours are only 9am-5pm, so I have to take 1hr off work each week to see her) but for some reason I just felt like it worked when we first met. So we kept meeting, and a few weeks in she asked me how I felt things were going and I was honest; I felt really comfortable with her, felt like we had really established a good cadence for our appointments, and I really appreciated her perspective and oppenness with me. So we keep on keepin' on.
I think this happens, where people get attached to their therapists. I'm officially attached to mine. I don't particularly need her. My anxiety is under wraps mostly. My family is sane. I have a good routine that is only going to get more structured, not less. I feel appreciated and valued. But she is now part of my people. I just enjoy talking to her. I enjoy her perspective, her support, her calling me out on my antics. I like trying to predict how she will react when I tell her something. I genuinely enjoy therapy sessions because it's like talking to an unbiased friend. I think that's what it is designed for, but I also think therapy (seeing a therapist/psychologist/pyschiatrist) will be a different experience for everyone. Just like no 2 people are the same, no 2 experiences will be either.
So that's that - it's why I see a therapist, and why I'm not the least bit ashamed of it. No one should be. We all need somebody to talk to, who is on our side, always ready to help us stand up and be the best we can be. I'd encourage anyone who is considering it to take the leap. I was nervous at first, but it's been nothing but positive. I'll be right here cheering you on and hoping you find something and someone as wonderful and helpful as I have.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Google Reader 4 Life

Google Reader, I miss you.
I'm currently using The Old Reader, but I don't love it, and I really don't love it as much as I loved Google Reader.
RIP Google Reader (and damn you, Google), you are still loved.
Just in case you aren't following me all over the internet: Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites

Visiting these jokers for Halloween. It's going to be friend super overload and I.CANT.WAIT.
Orange is the New Black. Hop on the bandwagon, it's worth it.
I found a Groupon although secretly I still want the BaubleBar one.
Print - Wish. Dream. Do.
Etsy finds. (thanks Whitney)
Owl Utensil Holder
Owl decor. This little dude sits on my mantle. I have another one from Typo on my dresser in my bedroom, and can't forget my ($50) Scottish owl pillow that I had to have. Obsessed.
Your turn!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Recent Reads

I haven't posted a "What I'm Reading"-esque post in ages. You can always check in with me on GoodReads, but thought I'd share the last few books I've read and loved, plus any pertinent thoughts.

  • Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews -- excellent beach read, I found myself interested in picking it up frequently, but could easily walk away when I needed to be productive
  • Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, by Lauren Weisberger -- the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada (also made into a movie); this one was long and drawn out and really the only reason I finished it was because I had a 4 hour plane ride home followed by a day at the lake with my parents. Cute, but way too long.

  • Matched, Crossed, and Reached by Ally Condie -- one of my recent favorite genres, teen dystopian novels. The first 2 were great, the 3rd one took forever to get through. I recommend them if you are into this type of book, but don't expect the last one to be nearly as exciting as the first two (or others like them)!
  • Jesus Land, by Julia Scheeres -- truly a fascinating read. If I were really good, I'd have done some research after I read the book to find out how much is true and how much was fictional, but I didn't. Guess what I'll be doing later today?
  • State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett -- a friend's mother recommended this and it was one I truly couldn't put down. I guess it's another "I should do more research on how much truth is behind this book" but all in all, highly recommended. I think part of why I liked the plot so much was because of how completely unrelatable it was. Never in a million years would I find myself in the environment described in the book (or any of the above books, if we're being honest. That's why I love to read -- getting lost in the truly fictional)
Tell me, what are you reading?
It's truly one of my passions, and although my free time is scant these days, I have a feeling it's one of the things I'll carve out time for regardless of what's going on around me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A few humble brags

I've rambled incessantly about how much I love my job, how much time and effort I put into it, and how it never really feels like work because I enjoy it so much. And all of that is 100% true nearly 3 years later.
I started as an assistant, not knowing what the heck I was doing, who I was working for, or what "consulting" meant. 13 months later I was promoted to associate, which meant that I figured out the definition of consulting and impressed a few people along the way, but really my job hadn't changed much over the course of a year.  On July 1, 2013 I got my second promotion, to coordinator. If I hadn't thought about it much, I'd say my responsibilities still hadn't changed, my title hadn't changed other than the official position at the end, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Over the last 33 months, I have learned an entire business. I have met and cultivated relationships with 300+ people. I have had first criers, second criers, and many more criers in my office (usually me). I've sassed senior executives, cursed crazy assistants, thanked heavens for incredible colleagues, and wondered where I'd be without a boss who believed in me. That promotion in July meant more to me than any yet, especially as I look back on how far I've come in 33 months.
Then, last Friday, I was honored with an award in recognition of my individual excellence and outstanding contributions along with 15 of my most esteemed colleagues across North America. I had no idea this was coming, and received nearly 100 congratulatory emails throughout the day. I couldn't stop smiling. What a special, joyous occasion, to be recognized and applauded for doing something that I cherish. For being trusted so completely. I just couldn't believe how many people noticed.
My wish for you today is to tell someone how much you appreciate them.
Even better, show them with a card, flowers, or some little trinket that they will put on their desk and treasure. It doesn't have to be a major award or accomplishment. Most people are just looking for a little reassurance that they are doing the right thing, that you are proud of them, that their contributions mean something.
Thank you, most wonderful place to work, for recognizing and appreciating me.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


It all started in college when a certain un-named friend of mine met a guy who had worked previously as a radio intern and got the nickname "Joe with the Big Junk." He told her (in detail. on their first date!) about how he got the nickname, the details of which I will spare you, but it started a trend among our friends (or probably just between us) of adding people in our phones, mostly dudes, in that naming convention.
It's a fun game, especially as you are kind of getting to know someone. And even more especially if you are getting to know more than 1 someone's at once. I don't save anyone in my phone until I've come up with the perfect name.
A few examples:
  • "Jesse Plays Paintball" - a guy I dated who told me in excess about his paintball field.
  • "Matt from Tennessee" - pretty obvious, and I don't remember anything about him so being from Tennessee must have been the most outstanding thing about him
  • "Ryan the Hasher" - this phone number is probably 3 years old but I still remember quite a bit about this guy. His #1 passion was 'hashing' And I wonder why it didn't work out...
  • "Crazy Matt with the Ex" - pretty self explanatory
This is not a way to keep people straight. It's just a way to remind myself of who they are and maybe something memorable about them. Online dating can be hard enough, the last thing you need is to ask someone for the 3rd time what they do for fun. And when you meet someone out at a bar, well... any memory is better than no memory.
Does anyone else do this? Or something like it? Please tell me I'm not alone...

Monday, August 5, 2013

8 Ways to Make August Amazing

1. Load up on fresh summer fruits & veggies. I'm talking strawberries, sweet corn, snap peas, string beans, blueberries, cherries, kale (ew.), bell peppers, the whole kit and kaboodle. I'm going to try and incorporate fresh fruit or vegetables into each meal!

2. In keeping with the healthy & fresh theme (and trying to maintain my zen from Anamaya), practice yoga at least once a week. I wasn't really a yogi before, but I've really been missing it since I've been home. Time to find a studio. Any recommendations?

3. Make a list and check things off of it. I've felt kind of scatter-brained all summer as I dart from one place to the next. I've been consistently neglecting my to-do list, which just means nothing really gets done.  I'm also going to keep it in one place - my trusty, full-page notebook.

4. Lenten-adventure throw-back: I'm going to make my bed every day! I've gotten completely out of the habit, and it just annoys me every time I come home.

5. Be patient with myself. School is starting, my best friend is getting married (!!!), I'm traveling for work, and all of that has a tendency to turn me into a panicked ball of stress that books last minute trips out of the country. And I don't have that luxury this time, so I've gotta just be patient and give myself time. Everything will get done (and up to snuff), I just gotta trust myself!

6. Keep blogging! See #5, all of that also equaled no blogging. I'll do better! Writing is an excellent outlet for me, so even if it's just bulleted journal-type entries, it's in my best interest to keep it up.

7. Eat less cheese & dairy. In Costa Rica we were pretty much dairy free for 7 days, and coming back I've been a cheese-a-holic. I need to rein it in, that much cheese isn't good for anyone, and surprisingly I've noticed a difference.

8. Say yes whenever I can. This month is going to be nuts, but in a good, exciting, fun way, and I don't want to miss a single minute. It's already off to a great start, I enjoyed a frosty cold one at Sweetwater on Friday after work and hit up a Sunday afternoon end-of-season tennis party.

What are your plans to make August awesome?

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pura Vida

Sorry I disappeared. I've been busy!
My dream came true. I visited Anamaya Resort & Spa in Montezuma, Costa Rica for 7 perfect days. Rather than try to document my entire trip, I'll give you a top 10 list and lots of pictures.
10. Two 25 minute flights in a 12 passenger caravan airplane.
9. Jumping over a 15ft waterfall into the pool below.
8. Listening to a sweet new friend serenade us on the guitar in the evening.
7. Driving 45 minutes across part of the country to find La Playa Secreta en Malpais. In a car crammed full of 8 beautiful, wonderful girls.
6. A bonfire on La Playa Hermosa while a thunderstorm rolled in.
5. Spending Friday night at Chico's with the locals and our favorite resort staff.
4. Twice daily yoga. (And watching the geckos chase each other on the ceiling during evening savasana)
3. Teaching an entire bar of Costa Ricans how to do the Wobble.
2. Enjoying 3 beautiful, delicious meals every day with friends.
1. Meeting 12 incredible people who will remain etched on my heart forever <3 p="">
Ya'll, this trip was perfect in every. single. way. possible. I wouldn't change a single second. I found myself again. I smiled so big I thought I was going to explode. I sobbed and sniffled my way through yoga one night because emotion just overcame me. I met people who inspired me, who motivated me, who helped me be me. I remembered what it felt like to have people in your life who care, who are invested, who take you for you, nothing more and nothing less. I was inspired to re-invest in personal relationships, find a new focus in my professional relationships, and chill the heck out. I am finally excited about starting school (in less than a week...!!), I have finally allowed myself to be done with toxic friendships once and for all, and I'm just excited about life again.
Pura Vida, indeed.
(And back to regularly scheduled programming.)